first Qibla was Jerusalem, and the marvellous tales thus derived cannot be read without astonishment. Thus there is the story of Cain and Abel, and of their parents weeping while the raven showed how to bury the dead; Abraham cast by Nimrod into the fire unhurt;1  the Queen of Sheba uncovering her legs as she walked before Solomon over the glass floor, which she takes for a sheet of water; the descent of Hârut and Mârut and other spirits from above to tempt mankind; Sammâel the Angel of Death speaking out of the Golden Calf — and other fictitious tales too numerous to mention. It is strange that though the Jewish and Christian Scriptures are spoken of throughout the Qur'an with the utmost devotion, only one passage is quoted from them, namely, "The meek shall inherit the earth." In respect also of the Tables of the Testimony put by Moses into the Ark, the Muslims, following the extravagant notions of the Jews who fancied that all their sacred books with the Talmud were also in the Ark, place on the "Preserved Table" their own Qur'an! A vast emerald mountain has also arisen out of the word Cau in the Talmudic explanation of Thohu, Genesis i. 2; of which it takes 2000 years to make the circuit, and 500 the ascent. Such are the wild vagaries of Muslim tradition and the Sources whence they come.

Chapter iv. next shows the apochryphal Christian sources from which Islam has so largely borrowed. There were many Christian tribes in Arabia belonging to heretical sects who had sought refuge

1 The story arises out of the strange mistake of Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. xv. 7) for the same word signifying an oven or fire.



there from persecution in Roman lands. Little versed in their own Scriptures, they spent the time in imaginary and childish fables. The Prophet, longing for a universal faith, listened gladly to such stories, which thus became the Source of much we find in the Qur'an.

First we have the fairy tale of the Cave wherein the seven Sleepers slumbered for ages, fearing persecution.1  Next we have endless stories of the Virgin Mary, both in the Qur'an and with vast detail also in Tradition; her mother Hannah, her childhood as fed by angels in the Temple; Joseph chosen by a miraculous rod, etc., much as in the Proto-Evangelium and other Egyptian and Coptic writings.2  Then there are the tales of Jesus, as of his speaking in the cradle, breathing life into birds of clay, etc.3  These the Prophet learned probably from Mary his Coptic concubine, as they are all contained in such Coptic books as the Gospel of St. Thomas.4  Thus we have the descent of the Table from Heaven (derived no doubt from the table of the Lord's Supper); the promise by Jesus of a prophet to come, called Ahmed,5 which was apparently caused by the mistake of περικλυτός [periklytos] for παράκλητος [paraklêtos]; the notion that the resemblance only, and not the real person, of Christ was slain,6 derived from the heretic Basilides, etc. Passing over much of interest, we may close our

1 It is worth the while of anyone not familiar with the Qur'an to read this at length, as given in Surah xviii. 8 24.
2 Aaron's sister Maryam is curiously confused with Mary of the Gospel.
3 S. iii. 41; v. 19.   4 S. v. 121.   5S. lxi. 6.   6 S. iv. 156